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Chopstick barbecue: from Mongolia by way of Beijing.

Chopstick barbecue: from Mongolia by way of Beijing When the Mongols invaded China, they brought with them their love of lamb. Today, this culinary legacy is still widely enjoyed in northern China. Thin slices of marinated lamb are stir-fried over a special cast-iron grill with broad, closely set slats. Then the meat is pushed into a sesame bun and eaten as a sandwich.

We sampled this dish at the Kaorouji Restaurant in Beijing. More than 130 years ago, Kaorouji started as an outdoor stall next to Shi Sha Hai Lake. Nobles of the court would cook lamb with 3-foot chopsticks on the special grill. Now the restaurant is enclosed and offers a more complex menu, but the original lamb dish still remains its specialty.

Mongolian barbecue

For our Mongolian grill, we use a griddle or frying pans on a barbecue. The meal goes together very easily, since guests do the cooking. As an appetizer, you might serve vegetables marinated in seasoned rice vinegar (or wine vinegar seasoned with sugar and salt to taste). Marinated Radishes and Cucumbers Mongolian Barbecued Lamb Sandwiches Asian Pears Chinese Beer Almond Cookies Iced Tea

Marinate the meat and prepare the onions and cilantro as early as the night before. The sesame buns can be made a day in advance and baked shortly before serving.

Mongolian Barbecued Lamb

Sandwiches 1-1/2 to 2 pounds boneless lamb leg or shoulder, trimmed of excess fat and cut in thin strips (about 1 by 3 in.) 1/4 cup soy sauce 3 tablespoons rice wine or dry sherry 3 tablespoons minced fresh ginger 2 cloves garlic, pressed or minced 2 tablespoons Oriental sesame oil 1-1/2 cups thin shreds green onions or leeks 1-1/2 cups lightly packed fresh cilantro (coriander) leaves 6 or 12 large eggs About 6 tablespoons salad oil Pickled garlic (recipe follows) Sesame buns (recipe follows)

Mix the lamb with soy, wine, ginger, pressed garlic, and oil. Cover and chill at least 4 hours or up to the next day. Place in 1 or 2 bowls. Arrange onions, cilantro, and eggs in separate containers. Pour salad oil into a small pitcher. Arrange the lamb, onion, cilantro, eggs, pickled garlic, and oil near the barbecue. Also set a pair of long cooking chopsticks or a spatula and potholders at the cooking station.

Set a griddle, 10- to 12-inch frying pan, paella pan, or wok on a grill 2 to 4 inches above a solid bed of hot coals (you should be able to hold your hand at grill level only 2 to 3 seconds). If barbecue is wide enough, you can set 2 pans on the grill so 2 people can cook at the same time. When griddle or pan is hot, pour in about 1 tablespoon oil; spread over surface or tilt pan to coat bottom. Add about 1/3 cup meat and cook, stirring and turning, to brown lightly, about 2 minutes. Then crack egg over meat, if desired. Stir-fry mixture just until egg is softly set. Sprinkle with onion and cilantro to taste and stir to mix. Scoop mixture onto a plate.

Put meat mixture into split bun. Add pickled garlic to taste.

Scrape pan with a spatula to remove residue; repeat to cook more. Makes 6 servings, 2 sandwiches each.

Per serving: 775 cal.; 39 g protein; 82 g carbo.; 31 g fat; 354 mg chol.; 1,389 mg sodium.

Pickled garlic. Peel 24 small cloves garlic (if thicker than 1/2 inch, cut in half lengthwise). In a 1- to 1-1/2-quart pan, mix 1/2 cup rice vinegar or distilled vinegar, 3 tablespoons sugar, and 1 teaspoon salt; bring to a boil. Add garlic and cook 1 minute. Cool, cover, and chill at least 1 day or up to 2 weeks.

Sesame buns. To a wok or 10- to 12-inch frying pan, add 6 tablespoons salad oil; set ocer medium-high heat. When hot, stir in 1/2 cup all-purpose flour until smooth. Cook, stirring often, until roux turns deep gold, 6 to 9 minutes. Let cool.

In a large bowl, mix 3-3/4 cups all-purpose flour and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Make a well in the center and pour in 1-1/2 cups boiling water. Stir with a fork to moisten flour. Knead on a lightly floured board until smooth and elastic, 15 to 20 minutes. Cover and let stand 20 to 30 minutes.

On a floured board, roll dough into a 12-by 15-inch rectangle. Spread roux over dough. Cut crosswise into thirds.

Stack pieces with roux-coated surfaces facing inside stack (some roux may ooze out). Cut to make 12 squares.

Roll each square into a 4- by 6-inch rectangle 1/8 inch thick. Fold 2 opposite long sides toward center, overlapping sides completely. With seam-side up, roll half of each folded piece to 1/8-inch thickness. Starting with thick end, fold dough over twice, in thirds, to cover thin end.

With thin end on top, dip bottom surface in sesame seed. With seed side up, roll out each bun to form a 3- by 5-inch rectangle about 1/4 inch thick. Place slightly apart, seed side up, on ungreased 12- by 15-inch baking sheets. (If made ahead, cover and chill until the next day.)

Bake on the bottom rack of a 400[deg.] oven until golden brown and puffy, 15 to 20 minutes if at room temperature, 25 minutes if cold. With a sharp knife or scissors, slit 1 long and 1 short side of each bun, if needed, to open. Serve warm or cool. Makes 12.
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Title Annotation:recipes
Date:Jul 1, 1988
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